Avalara, the cloud-based sales tax and compliance automation technology provider, announced Monday the appointment of entrepreneur and investor Doug Burgum to its board of directors.

A founding partner of Fargo, N.D.-based Arthur Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on software companies, Burgum also serves as chairman of the board of Intelligent InSites, Inc., provider of healthcare operational intelligence software.

Burgum previously built mid-market accounting solution provider Great Plains Software and, along with his team, guided the company through its successful initial public offering in 1997 and acquisition by Microsoft for $1.1 billion in 2001. He subsequently served as corporate officer and senior vice president at Microsoft from 2001 to 2007, growing the company’s business solutions group and its Dynamics product lines into a worldwide ecosystem of enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management solutions.

Burgum also previously served as an investor and chairman of the board of cloud-based business execution software provider SuccessFactors, which SAP acquired for $3.4 billion in 2012.

Burgum worked at McKinsey & Co. in Chicago after graduating from North Dakota State University and earning his MBA at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. In 1983, he returned to North Dakota, mortgaging his farm land to provide the initial seed capital for Great Plains.

“Great Plains was our first integration 10 years ago and it helped Avalara become what it is today,” said Avalara founder and CEO Scott McFarlane in a statement. “As a long-time admirer of Doug’s leadership, I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome him to Avalara’s board of directors. We believe Doug’s exceptional background in building transformational technology companies will help us in our goal of accelerating what we believe is inevitable: the automation of the transactional tax compliance process for every business.”

“Avalara delivers strong value for customers every single day by taking the complexity of compliance and making it simple, and they achieve this through their highly scalable solutions and dedicated work with a broad array of the very best solution partners,” stated Burgum. “This is a company with the right solutions, the right values, and a strong leadership position in a growing market - and they all wear orange to work every day.  What’s not to like?”    

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